There are several approaches to engaging in conflict as explained in the text. As defined by the text, “conflict may be viewed as occurring along cognitive (perception), emotional (feeling), and behavioral (action) dimensions”.(Mayer, p.4, 2000) Speakers utilize persuasive efforts in arguments to influence positive outcomes where conflicts exist. The approaches to engaging in conflict include the rights based, interest based, power, manipulated, and principle based. (Mayer, 2000).
A conflict arose on a predominately white small private college campus that was racially charged. Student’s civil rights were violated and handfuls were expelled without cause for voicing their concerns. On behalf of those violated and expelled students, a representative from the department of Justice argued in a very persuasive manner the rights and needs of the parties. There was no fairness in expelling students who spoke out against hate crimes on behalf of a victim of such crime. The act had been deemed immoral. A student discovered a noose in his dorm room and the culprits were not disciplined. The representative spoke to the president of the college and focused on what was right and what was clearly wrong. The speaker reminded the president that a certain standard must be upheld in all fairness and justice. Utilizing a principled-based approach produced a moral outcome where the expelled students were reenrolled at the cost of the university. The interests of the victims were also met with disciplinary actions taken against the initiators of the hate crime. Needs were asserted without argument but the main focus is directed more towards “what is the “right” thing to do.” (Mayer, 2000) Utilizing the manipulation approach in this instance would be acceptable if the victims had no representation or power in the conflict situation. Manipulation maybe is the only alternative to have other parties to confront the issue and meet the needs set forth.